Most of us are perfectly happy with fakes—at least, when it comes to art. Whether it is a tacky reproduction of the Mona Lisa or a tasteful Rothko print, most of us have purchased cheap posters of our favorite works of art at some point in our lives. And why not? If it gives us pleasure to see it, who cares if it’s real or just a reproduction? Art historians and chemists care, of course. And there’s no one in the world who is better qualified to write a play about the conflicts between art and science than the world renowned chemist-cum-playwright who has received countless awards and recognition for inventing the birth control pill as well as for his talent in the theatre. In his latest creation, Phallacy, Charles Djerassi directs our attention to a debate between aesthetic connoisseurship and anal analysis. They both have their place, but can they co-exist? I won’t give you the answer—you’ll have to go see the play.
If you’re neither an artist nor a scientist, perhaps you doubt that you'll find the play appealing on a personal level. I bet you’re wrong. The debate between Regina Leitner-Opfermann, an art historian who has very real hot flashes in the presence of her favorite fake, and a stuffy chemist, Dr. Stolzfuss, could be viewed as a front for an entirely different theme. It is through their ridiculous arguments that Djerassi humorously points our attention to the ramifications of falling in love (or at least obsession) with an idea and defending it against every shred of evidence that suggests otherwise. For those who are stubborn, prepare yourselves: Phallacy will be a bitter pill to swallow. But see it anyway-- it’s a brilliant play written by a true Renaissance man. Don’t bother leaving a comment if you don’t agree, this is my idea and I’m sticking to it against any shred of evidence to the contrary.
Cherry Lane Theatre: 212-239-6200